What is this Guardian love for peasantry?

In a leader:

The peasant, declared dead only a year or two back, has been miraculously revived.

I really don\’t get it at all. What is this fascination with the peasant lifestyle? This desire to trap hundreds of millions in it for evermore?

We\’ve all escaped it and we\’re all damn glad we have. So why this delight that Mbutu and his sons are going to have to do it for untold generations into the future?

Is it pining for the Ukrainians? If there aren\’t any peasants to starve then it won\’t be possible to starve peasants in building the Brave New World?

9 comments on “What is this Guardian love for peasantry?

  1. “People need to live closer to the land in harmony with the trees and flowers, guided by a benevolent government. Obviously *we* won’t be doing any of the actual tilling and reaping, sadly, as we have this wearisome burden of socially responsible journalism, but we’ll be there in spirit with the plebs….er, I mean ‘noble toilers’”

  2. Too busy trying to keep body and soul together.

    No time for working out whether George Orwell was right or not.

  3. I think the point is that they think there are too many people around in the cities (where they are) so better convince them to move out of the way. I can sort of sympathize with that at times but then 1) I know it’s wrong and 2) I’m honest with it

  4. With the majority of the population locked forever into serfdom, never again will the upper-middle class be bothered by uppity proles earning more than them.

  5. Rouseau’s Noble Savage?

    The Lake District poets, Ruskin, Morris, the Arts and Crafts movement?

    It’s all terribly noble and romantic, isn’t it.

  6. Philip – Not so much Rousseau as Turgenov, who once defined “populism” as worship of the peasant’s sheepskin coat.

  7. It’s another in a long line of instantly idiotic posts, all effectively refuted by the late Lord Bauer, who first exploded the myths surrounding Third World Aid in the 1970s and 1980s.

    Oddly, they are correct in their very first sentence – not much stands out from the politics of 8 years ago. Make Poverty History does. Unlike its predecessor ‘Live Aid’, what was immediately noticeable is how the campaign was dominated by the Extreme Left and purveyors of big government as the solution to everything , basically a combination of old style Socialists, NGOs and Environmental campaigners.

    Noticeably, Bauer’s arguments over the folly of debt cancellation, the basic characteristic of aid (a process whereby poor people in rich countries subsidise rich people in poor ones) and the ludicrousness of the notion that one country being poor is more than tangentially related to another countries’ poverty; these arguments, whilst still a minority, were heard much more widely than in the 1970s when the great man was a siren voice of sanity amidst a sea of idiocy.

    Sadly, the piece degenerates. Like a slightly deranged, half -educated missive, it occasionally flails around getting somethings right:

    ‘Money alone is not the answer’

    Then combining that with classics like:

    ‘It highlights the role played by politics and governance: tax avoidance that robs governments of rightful income, clearing small farmers off the land to grow biofuels rather than locally consumed food’

    The government of Zimbabwe (for example) is not being denied anything by tax avoidance from anyone. (save maybe the 20% of its population that have fled abroad) It has engaged in asset seizure and as a result noone in their right mind wants to invest there. Rather than the debt being cancelled it was merely inflated out of existence (at least in the case of Z Dollar denominated) debts but by all accounts the aid should start again, possibly to secure ZANU PF in power for another decade.

    The total failure of these people to acknowledge that the Africans (Or more accurately their governments) bear the lion’s share of responsibility for their issues is a stark admission of ignorance, and as Bauer said, treat the Third World as a ‘homogenous block, composed of children to be treated on a whim’

    It’s this, more than their fascination with peasantry that is perhaps the more telling of their follies.

  8. The we do all the technical stuff and import cheap food from abroad model is n’t holding up too well either.The “Third World” seems to have got sick or it.

  9. It seems to me that the only justification for the Grauniad types to support a mass return to serfdom is to get rid of them from the cities.

    Maybe they should be pressing for a programme of Urban Clearances like the Highland Clearances of the 19th century.

    Maybe if they keep their mouths shut, the Tory’s will do their own dirty work for them with the housing benefit changes.

    “Ooo Hilda, Ah do fair miss my wee garret in Upper Smith Street”, Scunthorpe don’t half pong!

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